Brave defending helped South Africa earn a 1-1 draw against Portugal at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium on Friday night, ensuring the European champions missed out on the Round of 16 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019.
Rafael Leao kicked things off for the Portuguese in the 19th minute. The 6ft 2ins (1.88m) centre-forward settled Thierry Correia’s cross from the right side and poked past goalkeeper Khulekani Kubheka at close range to open the scoring.
South Africa won a penalty in the 52nd minute after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) adjudged Diogo Leite to have handled the ball in his attempted clearance. Up stepped James Monyane to the spot, and the Amajita No12 converted calmly to level the match.
Just five minutes later Portugal were awarded a penalty of their own in a near-identical situation; this time South Africa’s Fezile Gcaba was the handball culprit. But Kubheka came up big to save Jota’s ensuing spot-kick.
Portugal controlled the ball for most of the remainder of the match, but South Africa were unrelenting, winning their first point at Poland 2019 while sending the Portuguese packing.